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Luxemburg, Luxemburg City

 

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The city of Luxembourg (Luxembourgish: Lëtzebuerg, French: Luxembourg, German: Luxemburg), also known as Luxembourg City (Luxembourgish: Stad Lëtzebuerg, French: Ville de Luxembourg, German: Stadt Luxemburg), is a commune with city status, and the capital of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. It stands at the confluence of the Alzette and Pétrusse Rivers in southern Luxembourg. The city contains the Luxembourg Castle, established by the Franks in the Early Middle Ages, around which a settlement developed.

 

Luxembourg City lies at the heart of Western Europe, situated 213 km (132 mi) by road from Brussels, 372 km (231 mi) from Paris, 209 km (130 mi) from Cologne.

 

As of January 2014, the commune of Luxembourg City had a population of 107,247, which was more than three times the population of the country's second most populous commune (Esch-sur-Alzette). The city's metropolitan population, including that of surrounding communes of Hesperange, Sandweiler, Strassen, and Walferdange, was higher than 165,000.

 

In 2011, Luxembourg was ranked as having the second highest GDP in the world, with a per capita GDP (PPP) of $80,119 (US Dollars), with the city having developed into a banking and administrative centre. In the 2011 Mercer worldwide survey of 221 cities, Luxembourg was placed first for personal safety while it was ranked 19th for quality of living. It is a seat of several institutions of the European Union, including the European Court of Justice, the European Court of Auditors, the Secretariat of the European Parliament, the European Investment Bank, the European Investment Fund, and the European Stability Mechanism.

 

History

 

In the Roman era, a fortified tower guarded the crossing of two Roman roads that met at the site of Luxembourg city. Through an exchange treaty with the abbey of Saint Maximin in Trier in 963, Siegfried I of the Ardennes, a close relative of King Louis II of France and Emperor Otto the Great, acquired the feudal lands of Luxembourg. Siegfried built his castle, named Lucilinburhuc ("small castle"), on the Bock Fiels ("rock"), mentioned for the first time in the aforementioned exchange treaty.

 

In 987 Egbert, Archbishop of Trier consecrated five altars in the Church of the Redemption (today St. Michael's Church). At a Roman road intersection near the church, a marketplace appeared around which the city developed.

 

The city, because of its location and natural geography, has through history been a place of strategic military significance. The first fortifications were built as early as the 10th century. By the end of the 12th century, as the city expanded westward around the new St. Nicholas Church (today the cathedral of Notre Dame), new walls were built that included an area of 5 hectares (12 acres). In about 1340, under the reign of John the Blind, new fortifications were built that stood until 1867.

 

In 1443, the Burgundians under Philip the Good conquered Luxembourg. Luxembourg became part of the Burgundian, and later Spanish and Austrian empires (See Spanish Netherlands and Spanish road) and under those Habsburg administrations Luxembourg Castle was repeatedly strengthened so that by the 16th century, Luxembourg itself was one of the strongest fortifications in Europe. Subsequently, the Burgundians, the Spanish, the French, the Spanish again, the Austrians, the French again, and the Prussians conquered Luxembourg.

 

In the 17th century, the first casemates were built; initially, Spain built 23 km (14 mi) of tunnels, starting in 1644. These were then enlarged under French rule by Marshal Vauban, and augmented again under Austrian rule in the 1730s and 1740s.

 

During the French Revolutionary Wars, the city was occupied by France twice: once, briefly, in 1792–3, and, later, after a seven-month siege. Luxembourg held out for so long under the French siege that French politician and military engineer Lazare Carnot called Luxembourg "the best fortress in the world, except Gibraltar", giving rise to the city's nickname: the 'Gibraltar of the North'.

 

Nonetheless, the Austrian garrison eventually surrendered, and as a consequence, Luxembourg was annexed by the French Republic, becoming part of the département of Forêts, with Luxembourg City as its préfecture. Under the 1815 Treaty of Paris, which ended the Napoleonic Wars, Luxembourg City was placed under Prussian military control as a part of the German Confederation, although sovereignty passed to the House of Orange-Nassau, in personal union with the United Kingdom of the Netherlands.

 

After the Luxembourg Crisis, the 1867 Treaty of London required Luxembourg to dismantle the fortifications in Luxembourg City. Their demolition took sixteen years, cost 1.5 million gold francs, and required the destruction of over 24 km (15 mi) of underground defenses and 4 hectares (9.9 acres) of casemates, batteries, barracks, etc. Furthermore, the Prussian garrison was to be withdrawn.

 

When, in 1890, Grand Duke William III died without any male heirs, the Grand Duchy passed out of Dutch hands, and into an independent line under Grand Duke Adolphe. Thus, Luxembourg, which had hitherto been independent in theory only, became a truly independent country, and Luxembourg City regained some of the importance that it had lost in 1867 by becoming the capital of a fully independent state.

 

Despite Luxembourg's best efforts to remain neutral in the First World War, it was occupied by Germany on 2 August 1914. On 30 August, Helmuth von Moltke moved his headquarters to Luxembourg City, closer to his armies in France in preparation for a swift victory. However, the victory never came, and Luxembourg would play host to the German high command for another four years. At the end of the occupation, Luxembourg City was the scene of an attempted communist revolution; on 9 November 1918, communists declared a socialist republic, but it lasted only a few hours.

 

In 1921, the city limits were greatly expanded. The communes of Eich, Hamm, Hollerich, and Rollingergrund were incorporated into Luxembourg City, making the city the largest commune in the country (a position that it would hold until 1978).

 

In 1940, Germany occupied Luxembourg again. The Nazis were not prepared to allow Luxembourgers self-government, and gradually integrated Luxembourg into the Third Reich by informally attaching the country administratively to a neighbouring German province. Luxembourg City was liberated on 10 September 1944. The city was under long-range bombardment by the German V-3 cannon in December 1944 and January 1945.

 

After the war, Luxembourg ended its neutrality, and became a founding member of several inter-governmental and supra-governmental institutions. In 1952, the city became the headquarters of the High Authority of the European Coal and Steel Community. In 1967, the High Authority was merged with the commissions of the other European institutions; although Luxembourg City was no longer the seat of the ECSC, it hosted some part-sessions of the European Parliament until 1981. Luxembourg remains the seat of the European Parliament's secretariat, as well as the European Court of Justice, the European Court of Auditors, and the European Investment Bank. Several departments of the European Commission are also based in Luxembourg.

 

Geography


The hihgtest points of Luxembourg: Kneiff 560 m Burgplatz 559 Napoleonsgaart 554 m

 

Topography


Luxembourg City lies on the southern part of the Luxembourg plateau, a large Early Jurassic sandstone formation that forms the heart of the Gutland, a low-lying and flat area that covers the southern two-thirds of the country.

 

The city centre occupies a picturesque site on a salient, perched high on precipitous cliffs that drop into the narrow valleys of the Alzette and Pétrusse rivers, whose confluence is in Luxembourg City. The 70 m (230 ft) deep gorges cut by the rivers are spanned by many bridges and viaducts, including the Adolphe Bridge, the Grand Duchess Charlotte Bridge, and the Passerelle. Although Luxembourg City is not particularly large, its layout is complex, as the city is set on several levels, straddling hills and dropping into the two gorges.

 

The commune of Luxembourg City covers an area of over 51 km2 (20 sq mi), or 2% of the Grand Duchy's total area. This makes the city the fourth-largest commune in Luxembourg, and by far the largest urban area. Luxembourg City is not particularly densely populated, at about 1,700 people per km2; large areas of Luxembourg City are maintained as parks, forested areas, or sites of important heritage (particularly the UNESCO sites), while there are also large tracts of farmland within the city limits.

 

Quarters of Luxembourg City


Luxembourg City is subdivided into twenty-four quarters, which cover the commune in its entirety. The quarters generally correspond to the major neighbourhoods and suburbs of Luxembourg City, although a few of the historic districts, such as Bonnevoie, are divided between two quarters.

 

Climate


Considering its latitude, Luxembourg City has a mild oceanic climate, marked by high precipitation, cold to cool winter temperatures and temperate summers. Moderate to heavy cloud cover is present for more than two-thirds of the year.

 

Lëtzeburgesch

 

Lëtzebuerg ass eng vun den 12 lëtzebuergesche Stied an d'Haaptstad vum Land mam selwechten Numm. D'Gemeng Lëtzebuerg ass eng vun den 106 lëtzebuergesche Gemengen a mat 103.943 Awunner (Stand: Dez. 2013) déi gréisst.

 

Den 23. Oktober 2012 hat si d'100.000 Awunner iwwerschratt a gouf domat zu enger Groussstad.

 

Am Volleksmond gëtt Lëtzebuerg dacks just "d'Stad" genannt.

 

Geographie


Den historeschen Zentrum vun der Stad, d'Alstad, ass no Norden, Osten a Süden hi vun 30–50 m déiwen Däller ëmginn, déi duerch d'Péitruss an d'Uelzecht an de Sandsteen gegruewe goufen.

D'Quartieren an der sougenannter Ënnerstad sinn de Gronn, Clausen an de Pafendall. No Westen hin erstreckt sech hanner dem Stadpark, deen op der Plaz vun de Festungsmaueren ugeluecht gouf, e Plateau, deen iwwer de Glacis an de Lampertsbierg iwwergeet. Weider westlech kënnt een an d'Quartiere Belair a Märel. Nordwestlech vum Zentrum sinn de Rollengergronn a Millebaach ze fannen.

 

A südwestlecher Richtung vum Zentrum läit Zéisseng. No Süden, déisäit dem Péitrussdall, dee vun der Neier an der Aler Bréck iwwerspaant gëtt, leien d'Quartiere Gare, Bouneweg-Nord/Verluerekascht a Bouneweg-Süd. Weider südlech leie Gaasperech, Hollerech an den Houwald.

 

Ëstlech vum Zentrum, déisäit der Uelzecht, ass de Plateau vum Kierchbierg, och Europäesche Quartier genannt. E bësse méi südlech dovu leien Neiduerf/Weimeschhaff, den Zens an Hamm. Tëscht dem Garer Quartier an dem Zens läit Polvermillen.

 

Am Norde leien, dem Laf vun der Uelzecht no, Eech, Weimeschkierch, Dummeldeng a Beggen.

 

Geschicht


Schonn zu Réimerzäite sinn do, wou haut d'Stad Lëtzebuerg ass, zwou Réimerstroossen, de Kiem vun Arel op Tréier an eng Niewestrooss (diverticulum) vun där vu Metz op Tréier, zesummekomm. An der Spéitréimescher Zäit gouf um Bockfiels eng kleng Festungsanlag gebaut, fir engersäits d'Strooss an d'Bréck iwwer d'Uelzecht ze sécheren, an, anerersäits, fir de Germanen hir Incursioune sou wäit wéi méiglech ze stoppen. Am fréie Mëttelalter stoung vun där Anlag net méi vill, mä d'Plaz gouf "kleng Buerg" genannt. Dësen Numm gouf als Lucilinburhuc an an engem Tauschdokument eng éischt Kéier schrëftlech ernimmt: Duerch en Tosch mat der Tréierer Abtei St. Maximin huet den Ardennergrof Siegfried I. ëm d'Joer 963 Lännereien zu Lëtzebuerg getosch (dësen Tosch gouf méiglecherweis de 17. Abrëll 987 festgehalen). Hien huet du säi Schlass um Bockfiels gebaut.

 

987, huet den Äerzbëschof vun Tréier, den Egbert (977-993), fënnef Alteeër an der Erléiserkierch (haut Méchelskierch) geweit. Op der Kräizung vun de Réimerweeër bei der Kierch ass e Maart entstanen (den haitege Fëschmaart), ronderëm dee sech eng Uertschaft entwéckelt huet.

 

Mä schonn ier déi éischt Haiser ëm den haitege Fëschmaart entstane sinn, hu Leit am Gronn, a virun allem zu Weimeschkierch gewunnt. Zu Weimeschkierch hat d'Abtei Sankt Maximin zanter dem 9. Joerhonnert eng gréisser Grondherrschaft (926 gouf et do 6 Millen).

 

Wéinst hirer Lag, souwuel geopolitesch wéi topographesch gesinn, hat d'Stad Lëtzebuerg zanter hirem Bestoen eng wichteg militärstrategesch Bedeitung. Am 10. Joerhonnert gouf schonn déi éischt Befestegung gebaut. Um Enn vum 12. Joerhonnert, wéi d'Stad sech ëmmer méi no Westen hin ausgebreet huet, koum eng 2. Festungsmauer dobäi (D'"Rue du Fossé" war de Festungsgruef zu där Mauer). Deemools gouf d'Nikloskierch gebaut, an en neie Maart (den haitege Krautmaart) koum bäi. 1221 gouf bei der Uecht-Paart am Westen en Hospiz gebaut, deem seng Gestioun de Walram vu Limbuerg dem Däitschhärenuerden iwwerdroen huet. Dëst gouf en hallef Joerhonnert drop an de Gronn transferéiert.

 

Am Spéitmëttelter goufen e puer weider Kléischter gegrënnt: géint 1234 hunn op der Schadeburg (dem haitegen Hellege-Geescht-Plateau) fromm Biergerinnen e Muedeléine-Klouschter opgemaach, dat ëm 1264 an de Klarissenuerden opgeholl gouf; och d'Franziskaner hu sech virun der deemoleger Stadmauer néiergelooss, zu Bouneweg goung e Klouschter op, dat sech ëm leprakrank Leit gekëmmert huet, a spéider an sech méi spéit den Zisterzienser ugeschloss huet. 1292 dann hunn hunn d'Dominikaner sech nordëstlech vun der Buerg installéiert.

 

Am Ufank vum 14. Joerhonnert hat d'Stad eppes iwwer 900 Stéit, deemno ronn 5.000 Awunner. Se war dunn ongeféier 5 Hektar grouss. 1340 huet de Jang de Blannen e Joermaart grënne gelooss, dee bis haut besteet: d'Schueberfouer.

 

Den 30. Juni 1509 gouf et e grousst Feier an der Uewerstad, dat 5-6 Deeg gebrannt huet, an eng 180 Haiser, dorënner d'Méchelskierch, zerstéiert huet. E puer Joerzéngten duerno, am Summer 1554, ass duerch e Blëtzschlag d'Polvermagaseng am Verwëllef vun der Franziskanerkierch explodéiert, an duerch d'Feier dat doduerch entstanen ass, alt nees e groussen Deel vun der Uewerstad verbrannt. Dofir gëtt et kaum mëttelalterlech oder gotesch Stilelementer, déi an der Architektur vun der Stad erhale wieren.

 

D'Festung


Géint 1340, ënner dem Jang de Blannen, sinn nei Festunge gebaut ginn, déi zum Deel bis 1867 stoungen. Déi verschidden Hären a Meeschteren (Burgunder, Spuenier, Habsburger, Fransousen a Preisen) hunn an de Joerhonnerten duerno d'Festung ëmmer méi ausgebaut a se zu enger vun deene stäerksten an Europa gemaach.

 

Am 17. Joerhonnert hunn d'Spuenier déi éischt Kasematte gebaut. Se goufen ënner dem Vauban ausgebaut a 1730-1740 vun den Éisträicher nach eng Kéier vergréissert.

 

1795, ass Lëtzebuerg vu Frankräich annexéiert ginn, d'Stad gouf Prefektur vum Département des Forêts. 1815 gouf d'Stad zu enger "Bundesfestung", an där preisesch Truppe stationéiert goufen. Gläichzäiteg gouf d'Land pro forma als Groussherzogtum nei erschafen, mam Wëllem I. vun Holland als Groussherzog.

 

Nom Traité vu London vun 1867 huet d'Festung missen ofgerappt an dem Buedem gläich gemaach ginn. Et huet 16 Joer gedauert, bis dës Aarbechte méi oder manner ofgeschloss waren. Se hunn 1,5 Millioune Goldfrang kascht. Op en Deel vun de fréiere Festungsanlage sinn nei breet Stroossen (Boulevard Royal, Boulevard du Prince Henri) an de Stater Park ugeluecht ginn. Elo konnt d'Stad sech no alle Säiten ausbreeden. De Plateau Bourbon, mat der Alstad iwwer d'Nei Bréck (gebaut 1900-1903) verbonnen, war ee vun den éischten neie Quartieren, déi sou entstane sinn.

1920 hunn d'Gemengen Eech, Hamm, Hollerech a Rollengergronn mat der Stad Lëtzebuerg fusionéiert.

 

Haaptstad vum Land


Als Haaptstad vum Land hunn och all konstitutionell Organer a vill staatlech Administratiounen hire Sëtz: d'Chamber, de Staatsrot, de Groussherzog (Groussherzogleche Palais), d'Regierung an déi verschidde Ministèren, d'Justizorganer (an der Cité judiciaire).

 

Populatioun


Den 23. Oktober 2012 gouf d'Stad Lëtzebuerg, wéi sech deen 100.000sten Awunner ugemellt huet, Groussstad. Enn 2013 waren eng 103.943 Leit an der Stad ageschriwwen, dovu 70.943 Net-Lëtzebuerger. Dat sinn 68.25% vun der Populatioun. Enn 2011 hu Leit aus am Ganzen 153 Natioune do gewunnt, wouvun deen allergréissten Deel (94,37 %) aus Europa kënnt. Aus Asie sinn 2,23 %, aus Amerika 1,65 %, Afrika 1,56 % an Ozeanien: 0,08 %. Bei 0,1 % handelt et sech ëm Apatriden oder där, wou d'Nationalitéit onbestëmmt ass.

 

Economie


D'Economie vun der Stad Lëtzebuerg berout virun allem op de Servicer. Eng besonnesch Roll spillt se als international Finanzplaz: Iwwer 150 Banken a soss Finanzinstituter sinn do aktiv.

 

Zu deene bekanntsten international aktive Firme mat Sëtz an der Stad Lëtzebuerg zielen Arcelor Mittal an d'RTL Group. Och den Handel spillt eng wichteg Roll.

 

De Sekundärsecteur do dergéint ass, nodeem d'Luxlait hir Molkerei 2009 geplënnert a Villeroy & Boch hir Fabréck 2010 zougemaach huet, kaum nach vertrueden. A wat de Primärsecteur betrëfft: 2012 gouf et nach een eenzege landwirtschaftleche Betrib an der Stad, an zwar zu Märel.